Recently the wonderful agent Lilla Rogers announced a global talent search for the next illustrator to add to her brood of amazingly talented illustrators. Along with the fact that I love entering competitions, the chance to get my work in front of Lilla and the impressive list of judges sounded like an amazing opportunity. So I entered, was sent a brief for the first round, and immediately realized this project could be great way to push myself to take a few steps outside of my comfort zone.
The job was to create a journal cover based on the theme 'old fashioned playground items'. The challenge I gave myself was to move away from the narrative children's book illustration I do a lot of and think about creating a flat graphic design that had some pattern and lots of contrast. I really enjoyed the entire process and thought I would share the steps I took to create the journal cover below.
1) After reading the brief I collected a lot of reference...I kept coming back to the comic Family Circus not because it really has anything to do with vintage playground equipment but because it epitomizes playfulness and fun.
2) I then filled a few pages of my sketchbook with scribbles that eventually turned into this sketch which I scanned in, cleaned up, and formatted for the appropriate size.
3) I usually do not set too many rules about my color palette because I like to keep myself open to changes if something is not working, but for this project I knew I wanted to have a limited color palette that I stuck to so this is what I came up with:
4) My process is fairly simple. I build my illustrations in layers in Photoshop and then apply textures with clipping masks, so this is the stage where I'm building all of my shapes:
5) Adding textures and making slight color adjustments to colors:
6) Last steps were to add a few shadows and layout the final illustration in the required format: